BTR Editorial
The GOP presidential field is still murky as Obama gears up for 2012.
Forget Riverdance, BTR's Mary Kate Polanin reflects on life lessons learned dancing in feis and gillies.
As indie dance rock's golden age seems to have passed, Jakob Schnaidt airs a scathing 'good riddance'.
Moving is stressful. However, can choosing the right time of year to pack up and relocate make it easier?
What to bring to help friends and coworkers move into their new digs.
Efforts by NYC Mayor Bloomberg to oust the OWS protesters may have only emboldened their resolve.
A humorous editorial on celebrity in the midst of civil unrest, after Kanye and Michael Moore visit Occupy Wall Street.
Thompkins Square Park in Manhattan celebrates its 21st Annual Halloween Dog Parade. BTR's Lauren Hawker took photos.
Our staff is proud to introduce to you the latest addition to the BTR landing page.
Are you trying to figure out what to do with all of your Halloween Candy? From donating it to American troops overseas to making it into a full-fledged dessert, we've got lots of options.
It all started with the cassette mixtape: flimsy, lightweight, delicate and accompanied by that tiny piece of lined paper etched with a hastily scribbled tracklisting.
At New York's latest Comic-Con, BTR finds that definitions for graphic novel and comic book are more widely debated than you'd think.
A list of recommendations for the best fitting "soundtracks" for the best books.
When emcees reach their performance expiration date, they start writing books.
Orwell in popular imagination: I thought I'd be spending this weekend in jail, thanks to Bloomberg's near-decision to evict the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park, now more correctly known as Liberty Plaza...
Kory French, host of Book Talk here on BreakThru Radio, introduces our latest theme week on BTR.
BTR's Audrey Nyarko reflects on growing up as the youngest in a family of five that grew up in West Africa, and how that affected her taste in music.
Happy Felabration Week everyone! From the 10th to the 16th (the 15th being Fela Kuti’s birthday), celebrations worldwide will be held honoring the legacy of the Nigerian Afrobeat legend of political and spiritual self-sufficiency, Fela Kuti.
It's only appropriate that we kick of Sibling Week with an article written by half of BTR's favorite sibling-duo. John Knefel (of John & Molly) reflects on Birth Order and Psychology.
How the collision course between a musical genre and mainstream culture is usually arrived at in fashion and advertisements.
How form not only resembles content but environment, especially when it comes to forming an identity for a genre.
Following the irreverent code of the meme-generator, this article will be written in a style that mocks a trollish article published on in 2008. The aforementioned piece attempts to encourage writers to condescend to their readers by formatting their articles to look like children's books and infographics.
Given Reality TV's unrelenting success over the last ten years, is it ready-made for the tablet age?
Whatever happened to the Crackberry? Smartphone experts weigh in to the debate.
How on-demand is soaking up the market cultivated by illegal downloading and copyright infringement.
Research Associate Professor Steven McGee, of Northwestern University, offers some insight into the world of iPad and tablet technology in education.
BreakThru Radio's Lauren Hawker attended the Tour De Fashion where 30 bicycles were crafted by top New York designers including Rebecca Taylor, Diane Von Furstenberg, Juicy Couture and Betsey Johnson.
How social media accounts and mobile devices became fashion statements.
A reaction to the hilarious YouTube Video of the 'listening party' for Tom Waits's latest record.
Dust off the LA Gears, pull the Body Glove shirt out of the closet and take a walk to the corner of Divisadero and Fell. The dance party begins there.
Few truly idolize the cast of Jersey Shore, but who wouldn't want to be paid thousands to appear at night clubs?
Pop’s place is in the club, advertising itself as if it’s afraid of a takeover by some encroaching genre, giving partiers a place to call home and a soundtrack that matches their experience. According to the charts, this is a party, this is a disco, and we most definitely are fooling around.
27 is a magical age to make an exit because of the unspoken potential a person possesses in their youth.
On discovering ethnic blues and jazz subgenres in Grenada, Spain.
During Melting Pot Week, we at BTR won’t be investigating the thermodynamics of marijuana, but rather the dynamic cultural exchanges taking place in our world and in this article specifically, the world of music discovery.
Private equity, commoditized learning, and the rise of the buyer’s market as the perfect cheater’s lube.
Cheating, bad behavior, and the animal kingdom. Carolina Rommel discusses lessons learned from this season's fashion trends
Retaliation between hacker groups raises questions as to if the practice bares any sense of social responsibility, and to whom?
Houses just released a cover of Dustin Kensrue’s “This is War” on Alternative Apparel’s blog. Like Dexter said on their Facebook page, it “involves no synthesizers whatsoever,” and it’s quite elegant. Dexter also helped make the above video for the track. A holiday miracle from one of my favorite acts of the year. [mp3] Houses - This is War (Dustin Kensrue cover) via The Road Goes Ever On
Musicians rarely think about money while they’re recording (unless you’re Scott Storch), and the courts are pretty understanding of this. But, when and where do they draw the line?
This week's BreakThru Radio Discovery Artist is bringing back honest, emotion fueled, radio ready pop punk! Get to know Allison Weiss.
Remembering numerous great leaders whom the history books hopefully won't forget.
Is the classic rock star persona–smashing guitars on stage, destroying hotel rooms, and over-indulging in “recreational” back stage activities–still alive? Leave it to the newbies to go and mess it all up in a string of very pubic and downright amateur meltdowns.
Whether it’s due to lack of funds or desperation, many bands these days have to do the grunt work of a manager and publicist all on their own. But is this the best method?
He's appeared on numerous BTR shows and we're really diggin' his work. Get to know Michael Che, an NYC Comedian and our BTR Discovery Artist of the week.
A catchy phrase from a 1992 movie rings truer than ever: "Adults are just kids who owe money."
Is adulthood even an accomplishment any more, or has its reputation taken a bit of a hit? What’s my age again and how can I tell that I’m an adult?
The brief history on the "outdated" summer break from classes and its effect on American education.
Sometimes the hardest part of starting a fitness regimen is getting out the door.
A conversation with tri-athlete-turned-health-guru Kelly Famiglietti on the benefits of 'the clense.'
Rustie concocts perplexing beats to send his audience into a trance, not merely with their structural shifts and pulsating rhythms, but the complex use of repetition and breakpoints.
One-man band Zach Deputy talks loop pedals and why it's a bad idea to call him a "faker" at shows.
BTR's interview with Rob Schwimmer (a real live theremin player) will make you want to take up the unique instrument yourself!
Recalling Jamaican life in a London setting might at first seem a paradoxical task, but Gappy Ranks’ has withstood the test of geography and time in his music, handling both the past and the present in a pretty and rhythmically hard-hitting way.
If you're not sure what super PACs are, but you have the sneaking suspicion that they may very well ruin what's left of our democracy, you're not alone.
photo from Wikimedia On this Fourth of July, let us turn our attention to what is quite possibly the most American of freedoms: speech. Without a doubt, patriots take pride in their unique liberties to have opinions and make them known, free of political or religious persecution. We’re well into the summer, and you may have already forgotten your history lessons, so here’s a refresher on the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law…. abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Short and simple, the First Amendment guarantees Americans the freedom to say, print, or express what they want, with few exceptions. For example, freedom of speech does not give you the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theatre when there is no fire. So, for the protection of those around you (in the theatre) your speech will be censored (not saying “fire” in a crowded movie theatre). As simple as the First Amendment may seem, it continues to be a hotly debated piece of legislature, especially when children are involved. Only days ago, a California law brought before the Supreme Court would have made it illegal to sell violent video games to minors. However, the court decided in defense of free speech and struck down the California law, citing that there was “no tradition in this country of specially restricting children's access to depictions of violence. … Grimm's Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed.” By this logic, the court decision determines that video games are entitled to the same constitutional protection given to other forms of expression, like classic literature and film. While the law can shield children from pornographic content, violence does not fall under the category of “obscenity” the way pornography does. This case in particular raises a few questions when it comes to media censorship for the protection of children. Naturally, those most concerned with controlling that content are the parents of said children, but for the parents who don’t want their kids to play violent video games, the ruling has led to polarizing conclusions. The president of the Entertainment Software Association, Michael Gallagher, reportedly affirmed that the ruling empowers parents to be the decision-makers for their children. “They [parents] are to be in control, not the state, of the content that is used, consumed and enjoyed in the home.” Yet others, like Tim Winter, were also reported countering that the ruling has taken power away from parents by constitutionally protecting the rights of video game makers. As president of the Parents Television Council in Los Angeles, Winter contended that it “replaces the authority of parents with the economic interests of the video game industry.” As with the first example of shouting “fire!’ in a movie theatre, defenders of the California law deemed the violence in certain video games to be just as potentially harmful and dangerous to young children. However, Dan Hewitt, Vide President of Media Relations and Event Management at Entertainment Software Association, pointed out that fears of the dangerous effects of simulated violence in video games are unfounded. “If you look at the decision, the Supreme Court specifically looked at the science surrounding video games and found that it wasn’t compelling,” Hewitt told BTR. “In fact, there are numerous social scientists and medical professionals who believe strongly that there is no connection between video games and real-life violence—a point that even the State of California conceded.” Even if there is yet to be a proven connection between simulated violence and children replicating it in real life, it is not outside the realm of understanding that parents would find such violence offensive enough to want to keep away from their kids. Which is precisely why there are ratings clearly and concisely labeled on the packaging for computer and video games. The same way consumers read the nutritional value information printed on food products, parents can read the labels on video games in order to know exactly what their kids are taking in. Hewitt directed BTR to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, the organization responsible for ensuring that the games bear these labels. Their mission echoes the same sentiment of empowering parents that Gallagher of the ESA expressed when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of video game makers. It is clear by the parents still dissatisfied by the Supreme Court ruling that the tug of war between parents and game developers over content control will continue. Still, there are those, like co-founder of development studio Eat Sleep Play, David Jaffe, that think the issue of violent video games does not merit such continued consideration. For Jaffe, there is a time and a place for defending the First Amendment, but video games are not the arena for such a fight, nor should the Supreme Court be its referee. “There are times to get angry and shout from the rooftops and fight for the ground breaking, life changing freedoms our countrymen have died for, but this was never one of those times. Not even close.” The issue is that when it comes to children, parents will get angry and shout from the rooftops if they feel like their rights as parents are being undermined by the “mass media.” Video games, like all progressive media that came before them, are new and therefore subject to scrutiny. Parents hated rock and roll, yet now rock music is recognized for its influential role as an art form. The idea is that with time will come acceptance and understanding of the medium. However, if and when video games receive the same retrospective credit that literary classics like the Brothers Grimm have now attained, remains to be seen. Written by: Mary Kate Polanin
Father's day has come and gone, and you, like everyone, bought your father another tie. Or maybe you didn't buy him one, but you thought about it. The ubiquitous tie, that most cliched father's day gift, has become synonymous with lazy gift-giving. The history of this Platonic ideal of boredom, however, is written in the blood of Chinese warriors and Croatian mercenaries, and is quite interesting indeed.
Many are of the opinion that dad rock has some specific era attached to it, namely the 70s, which personifies all that is daddy-ish about rock. But daddies weren’t all born in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Every musician has a favorite charity. How musicians besides Bono are doing their part to give back.
Wall Street's obscene profits continue to rise to record levels but nonprofits are finding themselves targets for states attempting to balance their budgets.
Photoshop is the modern day darkroom. But, is it threatening the art of photojournalism?
Are Veterans at war with a country that doesn’t provide them with all the assistance they need?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Virtual Reality therapy.
The European music festivals that might actually be worth the airline ticket and week off from work.
Koji Kondo admirers and 8-bit chip lovers come together this weekend at Eyebeam for the fifth annual Blip Festival, a giant three-day long music and performance arts event sponsored by music collective 8bitpeoples and non-profit arts organization The Tank.
One of the most interesting evolutions of this superpower of the Internet happened when someone started searching for instructions rather than for notions, and so, the online DIY movement began.
As cigarette prices sky rocket and anti-smoking legislation tightens its grip, we offer a guide to growing your own tobacco.
Quirky is a new Website connecting aspiring inventors with "influencers" who give feedback on their ideas. Their policy on copyright protection? Funny you should ask...
Are you craving a delicious meal from your favorite restaurant? Well, why not do it yourself, have some fun and save some money while you're at it.
DIY has risen from starting out as a revolutionary idea to now becoming the norm for bands to conduct themselves.
Are teen mothers being glorified or vilified by the media?
The pros and cons of your mother joining everyone's favorite social network.